From Musselburgh through to North Berwick, East Lothian’s coastal route is peppered with tempting food pit-stops. Archerfield Walled Garden might have the trump card though; boasting everything from deli, to café, to the bar supplied with fresh beer from its own on-site brewery.
We arrived as a family trio (mum, Felix the 2year old, and myself) one comically rainy summer’s day, but were happy to discover a bright, welcoming haven to enjoy some lunch. The Archerfield Walled Garden kitchen sources as locally as possible. With a historic producing garden, as well as being surrounded by fertile farmland, it’s no surprise to see a fresh-looking menu on offer.
To start, we all shared a beautifully presented platter decorated with cornflowers and marigold petals. It included rustically chopped carrot, cucumber and celery crudités, soft pitta bread, hummous, & blushed tomato dip. The highlight were the falafel, crunchy from a sesame seed coating on the outside, aromatic and more-ish on the inside with cumin and coriander. Oh, and the wee guy loved the marinated olives so much, we had to order extras!
For mains, a burger (£13.50) that would put most of the capital’s ‘gourmet’ offerings to shame. A buttered, glazed bun sandwiched a well-seasoned grilled beef patty, melted cheese, smoky bacon,juicy tomato and little gem. Everything in the right proportion, assembled to perfection. Ultra-crisp chips done as they should be too! If I’m being niggly, the veggie slaw was a bit claggy with too much mayo and the tomato chutney would probably have been better with a cheese platter, but no biggie.
Shortie and I shared the fishcakes (£10) which were made with natural (i.e. undyed) smoked haddock and mature cheddar. Wrapped in a crispy golden crumb, there was a good balance of chunks of fish and soft mash, although the salt levels were a bit high. Salsa verde with capers, dill and cornichons added pops of tangy flavour, offsetting the buttery creamed leeks and fishcakes themselves.
As full as our collective bellies were, it would have been a tragic move to avoid the sweet stuff to finish. You should see the array of temptation the café’s counter and display fridge holds! A classic lemon tart had a lovely crisp pastry shell, with creamy but zingy lemon filling, topped with fresh raspberries and served with ultra-thick whipped double cream. In a ‘blink and I missed it’ moment…granny & Felix wolfed down a shared slice of classic Victoria sponge.
It’s clear that there’s a love for fresh ingredients and care in the way the food is cooked and presented at Archerfield Walled Gardens. With the eponymous garden itself, play area (and soon to open Fairy Walk), it’s a lovely family-friendly destination with plenty to see, taste and explore ; rain or shine. Keep an eye out for upcoming events and evening supper clubs too.
Archerfield Walled Garden
The Walled Garden
Tel: 01620 388 588
Summer opening hours: 9:30am to 5pm